Home Cars 30 Unreliable Classics That Drivers Just Can’t Forget

30 Unreliable Classics That Drivers Just Can’t Forget

Vukasin Herbez March 5, 2020

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6. Range Rover

When the Range Rover debuted in 1970, it took the Land Rover Defender concept and improved it far beyond market expectations. Most car historians agree the Range Rover launched the modern SUV class with a unique blend of off-road capabilities, elegant design, and luxury appointments. Thanks to the Range Rover, many other car manufacturers started selling comfortable off-road vehicles. Soon, the SUV craze swept through the industry.

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The Range Rover was for those customers who needed a capable car but not an off-roader like the Defender. During the ’80s and early ’90s, the original Range Rover became the best-selling vehicle in its class and a legend of the industry. However, soon the customers found out that the Range Rover was unreliable thanks to three major issues. The first was rust and the second was electronics, like many British cars. But the problem that was the worst was that Range Rovers were prone to overheating. The owners found that simply adding coolant wasn’t an option since overheating bent the fragile aluminum heads in the V8 engine.

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5. BMW 8-Series

The 8-Series was a new model BMW conceived to be the best Gran Turismo coupe in the world. The design and platform were new as well as the engines. The BMW 8 Series featured the V8 as well as the advanced V12 engine. The car was full of advanced technical solutions and electronic systems as well as top of the line hardware. BMW included lots of luxury details and acres of the finest leather.

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The big coupe lasted on the market until 1999, but it wasn’t a big commercial success for the company. However, it was one of the finest cars BMW ever produced and a true future classic. But behind the perfect design and impressive numbers were some fragile mechanics and the complicated V12, which loved to burn oil. Not to mention the problematic suspension setup and electronic problems that plagued the 8-Series throughout its production.

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4. Mitshubishi 3000 GT

One of the unsung heroes of the ’90s Japanese sports car invasion was the Mitsubishi 3000 GT. Today, the Acura NSX gets all the attention, but the 3000 GT is an accomplished and exciting car. It has advanced technology for its day with a twin-turbo V6 engine delivering up to 300 HP in top-spec, intelligent all-wheel drive, and even four-wheel steering.

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However, it was a bit heavy and expensive to maintain. Soon, this JDM gem was forgotten. Because it was prone to all kinds of problems, owners soon gave up on them.

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3. Fiat 124 Spider

The Fiat 124 Spider entered the market in 1966 and sold in America until 1985. The Spider came with a Pininfarina design on a 124 Sedan platform with straightforward mechanics. Fiat equipped it with a twin-cam engine, four-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Early models got 90 HP from the 1.6-liter engine, while later versions got 2.0-liter engines with fuel injection and 102 HP.

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However, despite looking like a Ferrari from the ’60s at discount prices, the Fiat was notorious for having rust issues. So much so, there’s not a single Fiat 124 Spider that doesn’t need a restoration. These cars were so bad, if you want to buy one today, the first thing to look for is rust. Chances are part of the floor is missing.

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2. Lamborghini Miura

Many car enthusiasts claim the Miura is the first proper supercar in the world. It may qualify with its fantastic design, crazy power, and performance numbers. Also, it comes with a high price tag and the company limited the production numbers. The Miura was also the first car to feature several technical solutions that later became mandatory features in the supercar segment.

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If it wasn’t the first, it is certainly was the most influential and iconic. Part of that appeal came from the 4.0-liter V12 transversally mounted behind the driver delivering 350 HP to its rear wheels. Sadly, the Miura was one of the most dangerous supercars ever made since it could catch fire at any moment. Quite a few Miuras were lost due to fire because of mechanical flaws, poor carburetor assembly, and bad fuel lines.

Photo Credit: BMW Group

1. Classic Mini

The Mini was an immensely influential and significant car when it was released in 1959. Today, every front-wheel-drive car uses the same drivetrain layout and concept. However, the first Mini wasn’t without its flaws. Apart from being unsafe and rust-prone, the Mini had one major design flaw. Due to a transversally-mounted engine, the radiator was on the left side behind the wheel well. But this design feature left the distributor and spark plug wires without any protection. So during rainy days, water flooded the starting system of the Mini through the front grille.

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This left thousands of owners stranded and without any chance to start their car. These are 20 of the most unreliable classic cars that were a thorn in car owners’ sides for years. They all have their innate qualities, yet they also come with some serious flaws, some even with deadly consequences. Hopefully, the car industry has learned some valuable lessons from these cars to protect drivers in the future.

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